Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua Odedere popularly known by her stage name as Seyi Shay (pronounced Shay-yee Shay) is a famous Nigerian R&B singer, songwriter, recording artiste, stage performer, model and a philanthropist. She was born on 21st December 1985 in Tottenham, London, United Kingdom to Nigerian parents. She is currently 32 years old.
Her mother is from the northern part of Nigeria while her father is a native of Ife in the western part of Nigeria. She has two elder brothers and an older sister. She and her siblings were raised by their single mother in London, United Kingdom.
Seyi Shay grew up in a religious setting family and felt like a single child during her adolescence. She completed her primary school education in London, United Kingdom. After which she returned to Nigeria with her family and completed her secondary school education.
Seyi Shay attended Command High School in Maryland, Lagos, Nigeria and obtained her West African Senior School Certificate. After completing her secondary school education in Lagos, Nigeria, Seyi Shay went back to London, United Kingdom to complete her university studies.
Her interest in music was influenced by members of her household. Her late mother was a chorister and her sister used to compose songs for television series while her brother was a radio and club disc jockey (DJ).
Seyi Shay started singing and performing at the age of 14 and joined her secondary school choir while still in Command High School in Maryland, Lagos, Nigeria. She performed for the London Community Gospel Choir during their world tour, which included 13 cities in Japan. She was applauded for her performances in Japan.
After completing her secondary school education in Nigeria, Seyi Shay relocated back to London in United Kingdom and studied music at a local college in United Kingdom. After that, she proceeded to University of East London, United Kingdom and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.
In an interview Seyi Shay stated that her mother wasn’t in support of her musical ambitions from the beginning. She further stated that her mother wanted her to become a medical doctor or a lawyer. But finally, her mother started supporting her musical career when she discovers that one can actually make a living with music. According to her, before her mother’s death, she encouraged her to focus on her music career and put God first.
Her music career took an upswing when she signed her first ever record deal with “No Apology” a record label company affiliated with George Martin. Seyi Shay wrote and produced three songs for the soundtrack for Konami’s video game “Crime Life; Gang Wars” in 2005.
In 2008, Seyi Shay signed a recording deal with Sony Columbia Records and Music World Entertainment in London, United Kingdom which was managed by Mathew Knowles.
After performing with several international artistes in London, Seyi Shay was introduced to Sound Sultan during his visit to London, United Kingdom in 2011. After listening to some of her demos, Sound Sultan convinced her to relocate to Nigeria and pursue her musical career over there in Nigeria.
During a project with Sound Sultan in the United Kingdom, Seyi Shay was introduced to Cecil Hammond of Flytime Promotions. Cecil Hammond signed Seyi Shay into his records label “Flytime Music” and decided to launch her solo career in Nigeria.
In November 2013, Seyi Shay signed an endorsement deal with telecommunications service provider Etisalet worth millions of Naira. In July 2015, Seyi Shay signed a record contract deal with Island Records Label. In Novemebr 2015, Seyi Shay released her first debut studio album “Sey or Shay”. The album has hit singles like Irawo, Ragga Ragga, and Chairman.
During an interview with the media, Seyi Shay cited her mother, Mathew Knowles, 2Face Idibia, Beyonce, Sound Sultan, Wizkid and Omawumi as her mentors and role model. She also stated that her musical style is primarily a combination of Afro pop and R&B. She also stated that her music draws from things that inspire her.
In 2015, Seyi Shay was nominated for Best Female and Video of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards. In 2014, she was nominated for Most Gifted Female at the Channel O Music Video Awards. That same year in 2014, she was nominated for Musician of the Year (Female) at the City People Entertainment Awards.
She was also nominated for Female Artist of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and World’s Best Song at the 2014 World Music Awards. In 2013, she was nominated for Best Vocal Performance (Female) and World Best Entertainer of the Year at the Headies Awards. After which she won Best New Musician of the Year (Female) at the 2013 City People Entertainment Awards.
Seyi Shay is currently one of the richest and most influential female artiste in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $2.1
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